Supreme Court Denies Norbeck Petition, 4-23-12
On April 23, 2012, the Supreme Court denied our Petition for a Writ of Certiorari. This brings to an end our attempt to stop the logging in the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve.
Supreme Court Dockets Norbeck Case as No. 11-1040
Forest Service et al. have until March 26, 2012, to Respond to Friends of the Norbeck et al. Petition for a Writ of Certiorari.
Anyone driving west from Mount Rushmore on Highway 244 is confronted by the severe damage being inflicted upon the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve, not by pine beetles but by the US Forest Service. That is why on February 14, 2011, Friends of the Norbeck and Native Ecosystems Council Petitioned the US Supreme Court for a Writ of Certiorari, asking the Court to review of the Norbeck Timber Sale case.
The Norbeck Wildlife Preserve is one of the most special places on Earth. The soaring granite spires and old-growth forest make this small area an ideal Sanctuary for sensitive wildlife species. Congress recognized this special character in 1920, when it created the Preserve for the “protection of game animals and birds” and their breeding places. Despite this special wildlife protection mandate, the Forest Service has been trying for decades to extend its commercial timber program into the Norbeck Preserve.
Both the Tenth Circuit and the Eighth Circuit have rejected the Forest Service’s assertion that the 1920 Norbeck Organic Act lacks statutory factors by which to measure the agency’s management decisions, but the Circuits have reached differing conclusions as to the management obligations flowing from the Act. The questions presented in the Petition, which was written by Brian Brademeyer, are these:
1. Whether balancing under the Act can occur without explicit consideration of the sole criterion established by the Congress (protection of “breeding places” of game animals and birds); and
2. Whether the protection mandate requires a focus on those species actually needing protection of individuals and their breeding places, as opposed to balancing those needs against the general needs of common game animals and birds.
The Petition for a Writ of Certiorari was printed by the February 14, 2012, filing deadline by Cockle Printing of Omaha, NE, due to the onerous and demanding formatting requirements and numerous copies needed for documents submitted to the US Supreme Court.
The Petition has been shipped to the government anthrax screening facility outside Washington, DC, prior to delivery to the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office. On April 23, 2012, the Supreme Court denied our Petition, refusing to review the Norbeck Timber Sale case.